Montevideo, Uruguay : Football’s world governing body FIFA has taken control of the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) after the organisation was plunged into chaos following the sudden resignation of president Wilmar Valdez last month.
A letter from FIFA reported in local media said the body had set up a “regularisation committee” aimed at restoring order to the AUF.
The FIFA committee would be responsible for managing the affairs of the FA through to February 28, 2019 and would revise the organisation’s statues and arrange new elections.
Uruguayan football has been in crisis since July 30, when president Valdez, who had favourite to win a new term in a vote the following day, abruptly resigned.
Valdez stepped down after the emergence of mysterious audio recordings just before his re-election bid.
Although the exact content of the recordings is unknown, media said they contained comments about sports administrators, a member of the government, sports journalists and supporters.
One of Valdez’s campaign rivals said the recordings were “slightly compromising Wilmar’s image.”
Valdez, however, has denied the recordings were responsible for his resignation.
“This decision has been motivated solely by family and personal reasons that have nothing to do with the context of the current election,” he said.
“I want to stress that I was under no undue pressure, threats or extortion in making this decision.”
The move was backed by Luis Suarez and his national team colleagues in a statement published on the Barcelona’s Instagram story on Wednesday.
It read: ‘In relation to the communication made by FIFA and CONMEBOL on August 21, 2018, adopting the decision to immediately nominate a regularisation committee for the AUF, the players of the senior team want to state the following:
1) we expressly support this measure, which aims to establish that it has been in demand for most Uruguayan soccer establishments for the purpose of definitively establishing the principles of transparency, democracy and plurality in the auf.
2) the auf, and its current members have refused in a reiterated way to introduce the necessary reforms demands for fifa and conmebol, and that are of justice, for which we have voice and vote all the estates of Uruguayan football.
3) It is necessary and essential also a review of the policy of contraction of the assets of the AUF, to determine whether during the last years there have been illicit interests or corruption cases in the management of such contracts.
4) It is time for football in Uruguay to begin to be governed by the will of all the players that comprise it, and not by external pressures that obey the interests of third parties.
For all the above, we reiterate our support for the measure adopted by FIFA and conmebol, and we express our sincere will to collaborate to achieve these ends.”
Image : This file picture shows the president of the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) Wilmar Valdez. FIFA has taken over Uruguay’s football association after he stepped down